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  1. The Falconer drawing is about the right time for the Bellona, and is contemporary. So a good guide here. I see the breech rope lying on top of the button, not wrapping around, and also more permanently seized around the bulwark eyebolt without a hook. It does seem very hit and miss whether that breech rope would stay in place in the heat of battle, when the gun is run out and the rope is slack. In a recoil, it looks like it could slip up over the top of the barrel, or even slide down and catch the carriage below, allowing an unexpectedly long recoil. Maybe just a light seizing run around the button that the Falconer drawing does not show? Mark
  2. Hi Mark and Alan, Interesting you would mention the end of the breech rope. I happened to see a secondary source drawing with the rope end forming an eye through the bulwarks eyebolt. That couldn't be right later in the century, because the rope would be permanently connected at both ends, with no way to remove the cannon with the breech rope rove through the cast ring on top of the button. Maybe when the rope just looped around the button this might be possible. But it does seem logical and efficient to have hooks at the ends. This would also alleviate the problems I mentioned earlier of how tightly the loop around the button would have to be seized or not. Sure wish I could see a drawing! And Mark, you are so right about why anyone would do a drawing at the time when everyone knew how it worked. Mark
  3. SJSoane

    Syren Rope Rocket

    Hi Chuck, Thanks, this is very helpful. I can only read in awe at a rope every 8 minutes, for a few hours in one go. An impressive goal I will aspire to! Mark
  4. SJSoane

    Syren Rope Rocket

    Hi Chuck, I discovered that my tailstock wheel was beginning to wobble. When I pulled up the third rope to tension, it would be shorter than the other two already tied off because the wheel tipped. So, I have reset the setscrew, to pull the wheel a little tighter to the tailstock. And I really cranked it down on the bolt threads. That should help. When you tension the threads, do you pull out the stretchiness until it stretches no more, or do you push against each of the three threads in the middle of the span to test the different tensions? I was doing the latter, but think the former might be more consistent. Except pulling all of the tension out of those 3 strand ropes to make the 9 strand rope may be what pulled so hard on my tailstock wheel. Mark
  5. Thanks, Alan, this is very helpful. Thinking through a detail, it is nice to understand how the sailors would have viewed it, not just in practical, functional terms, but also in their sense of what is right. Also, it occurred to me that the later idea of running the rope through a ring cast in the cannon would most assuredly have anchored that breech rope to the cannon more thoroughly than just a seized turn around the button. Moving cannon must not have been a main priority with the detail. Unless someone comes up with a contemporary drawing, I am going with the seizing and turn as you and druxey have been suggesting. Thanks for your great observation! Mark
  6. druxey, I would love to read that steampunk novel. Would the time traveller have focused on ships? Maybe the novel could answer all of these questions definitively, and in a few generations it would all pass down as absolute truth. No more historical worries for our successors. Plus, I want to see your design for the steampunk nautical outfit...😊 Mark
  7. SJSoane

    Syren Rope Rocket

    I tried turning ropes with three strands, then mounting these again in the ropewalk and turning them together with the drill running in the opposite direction. This makes a a Z, or right turned rope, which I believe would be a hawser? I did not get the tensions quite right, so there are some blips in it. It sets up powerful forces; trying to keep the headstock from unwinding was quite an experience! I had to unwind and then wind again, which probably did not help this rope much. As I measure things, Chuck's supplied thread is .017 in diameter. Three of these turn up to .032, or a factor of 1.9 times the original thread diameter. And three of those three, or 9 threads altogether, turn up to about .059", again a factor of 1.9 times the diameters of the ropes in the second stage. I have yet to try 3 threads in each eye, or 9 threads in one turning session. Will it be the same as turning the 9 threads in two sessions? It obviously changes the lay of S or Z. Mark
  8. Pretty amazing, I cannot find any contemporary drawings showing how this breech rope is rigged. I found a photo of a section model of a 3 decker ca. 1760 in Brian Lavery's Ship of the Line vol. II, p. 156, and it shows the breech rope just draped over the top of the button, not even wrapped around. Of course, the rigging on that 18th century model could have been redone any number of times before its current state. I guess the 18th century draftsmen were not keen to draw draping ropes. I think the logical idea would be as Alan showed and druxy suggests with a seizing running in a vertical direction. This direction of seizing would be much easier to install, going with the lay of the ropes. But perhaps it would not have a seizing at all? It would be time consuming to move a cannon, first needing to cut the seizing to get the breech rope off the button. Or, would the breech ropes move with the cannon? Or is it seized loosely so that it can be slipped off the button? I can see why they cast a ring over the button towards the end of the century, because this earlier practice is not a very elegant way of retaining the gun, the more I look at it. Ah, where is that time machine when we need one! Mark
  9. Hi Russ, Even as I looped the rope around the button in the photo above, I saw the need for some kind of seizing; otherwise, it would just fall off when the gun was pulled back to the side after firing. I will keep looking around. Thanks again for pointing this out; a new topic to research! Best wishes, Mark
  10. Fascinating. I enjoy seeing your experiments and problem solving. Mark
  11. Hi Russ, thank you for your kind comments about the Bellona build. At the rate I am going, it will likely be the only ship model I will make in my lifetime (except for a kit when I was 16), so the journey itself is very much the point of it for me. I hope my journey and the Bellona build will finish at about the same time! Interesting question you ask about the breech ropes. I did a quick look at some resources this morning, and did not find anything about the direction of the seizing. I also saw a secondary source drawing showing the breech rope with a full wrap around the cascable button and no seizing (see below). Do you recall where you saw something, or do others have a source they could direct me to? Best wishes, Mark
  12. Thanks, Chuck, all credit to your great machine! I posted a few more comments on my first efforts (questions about how to tie off with even tension) at:

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